So by this time of the year, the end of January where your resolutions have had time to be tested.  Yesterday, I ran into a lady from my gym who said she hadn’t been in a couple of weeks because work has been too busy for her.  That’s the thing about our goals, they are quickly interrupted by our LIVES.

Not to mention that most of the time, what we want to build/shift/create, often takes a lot more time that we initially anticipated.  One of my clients told me right before NYE that she was going to have her three-bedroom house tidied in a week!  Which would be a considerable feat especially when you consider that Marie Kondo (professional organizer) suggests a real tidying of a home around that size will last roughly six months. To my knowledge, she's not quite there yet and I know that frustrates her.

Release is part of recovery

It is frustrating when we don't meet our goals quickly and easily. That said, if it were easy to change, you wouldn't have needed to set this goal to begin with. Real and lasting change takes effort and time. It is normal to notice a little back slide. The thing that will set you apart is not giving up when you back slide. Acknowledge that you did, forgive yourself and try again.

The Golden Rule of Habit Change

In his book, "The Power of Habit" Duhigg talks about the Golden Rule of Habit change. In it, he describes how research has shown that starting new habits is difficult and breaking old ones is even more difficult but altering current habits is doable.

I couldn't resist added this one too. Sorry, not sorry.

I actually really love the second graphic because it addresses something we have all done, reached for food out of habit. For some of us the reward is comfort, for some it is to keep our hands busy - the truth is it doesn't really matter why you're eating or what your reward is. You don't have to stop eating to make a shift, you only have to eat something different!

Another key to the graphics above, the less you need to think about it - the easier it will be and the more you have shifted your habit. When you are working on making a shift in the routine, you may find that the first thing doesn't get it done and you have to pick something else. Fine, it may even be good to try a few different things before you commit. For example, maybe you try three gyms before you join one. If you feel confident in the choice you made, it will help to reinforce itself.

As always, I’m here.  If you are ready to work on having the life you want, call me and let’s get started!

Talk of change is everywhere this time of year; more adds for workout equipment and gym memberships, weight loss programs and meal prep services, dating apps and jewelry commercials.  And how many of those products are left abandoned in a corner gathering dust or totally forgotten about by March?  Most of them.  This year, if you sincerely want to make some changes, it’s time to go about things a little differently. 

Question what you know about yourself.

In pervious blogs we have discussed the stories we tell ourselves.  Some are big, some are small, some of them are adaptive and some hold us back.  When you are ready to shift something big and important, it is time to really challenge yourself and ask if what you know to be true is really true. 

I recently read an article by Kendra Hall in which she shared that as an adult, she just knew she didn't like to ski. She tells the story about a 3rd grade ski trip that was a total disaster for her and only time she ever tried skiing until adulthood. From then on she told herself, she did not like skiing and simply never bothered to try again until her parter wanted her to join him on a family ski trip. We can all think of a lot of stories, especially from our childhood that inform how we see the world even today. If there are things you want to change get very curious about the things you think you know about what you can do and what you are capable of. Until those stories are challenged, change will be like moving a mountain for you.

Take real time for yourself.

When you are running from fire to fire just barely keeping up, you are so much more likely to crash and burn. It may sound counter intuitive, but no matter what your goals are, in order to make them them work, you will need time to sit and reflect. What is working? Could you change things up? What could do you do to make working towards that goal feel more fun?

Are you having fun?

If the answer is no, something is wrong. I don't love working out, so if you bump into me at the gym early in the morning, you are unlikely to see me smiling the entire time and doing a jig. BUT, I enjoy the trainer I work with and the people that I work out with and if I didn't, I likely would have gone elsewhere a very long time ago. And I love to supplement with fun dance classes, a difficult pilates or spin classes. If I did those all the time, I would probably get tired of them but they add a little something to my week when I make time for them.

Creativity is important.

It does not matter what your goal is, challenge yourself to do something different. I know, that is a lot easier said than done. If change were simple, you wouldn't need to set goals. When I'm stuck I try and pay attention to what people I look up to are doing. There are a lot of ways to accomplish the same task, what can you do differently to address the problem.

Make a plan.

If there is no plan, no schedule, no measurable, observable, tangible goals, you are just day dreaming. Even if the first step in the plan is to ask someone for help or read a book, make a plan. Everyone has to start somewhere and it is ok if at the beginning the ending is a little muddled or fuzzing the best way get started it to make a plan for the first 2-3 steps.

Be clear about your WHY.

If you do not have a powerful why, you are wasting your time. When your WHY is because everyone else is or I think it would be nice, you are going to give up very quickly. How many powerful stories of transformation have come after a person had a life threatening event or lost someone or something meaningful to them? Their why became very clear after a loss of some kind. You don't have to experience loss to dial into your why. For each of your goals, ask yourself why it is important to you that you make this happen for yourself. Without your why, you are spinning your wheels. Knowing your why is a powerful tool to get you back on track when you are faced with a big challenge to your goal.

I have referenced this before but I think it is totally worth doing it again. One of my favorite TED Talks is Simon Sinek's on "How great leaders inspire action." If you need a little help getting to your why, this TED Talk is a great place to start.

Who benefits?

Just as important to the success of a goal as why is who. Who will benefit the most from you achieving the goal? When more than one person benefits and you are invested and connected to that, you will be so much more committed to making it happened. For example, if you want to lose more weight because you want to be able to be more active with your children, it is so much more than just something you want for yourself.

As always, I’m here.  If you are ready to work on having the life you want, call me and let’s get started!

I believe in change!!!  If I didn’t, I would totally be in the wrong business.  But I have long been on a one-person mission to discourage people from New Year resolutions because resolutions so often don’t work and end up making people feel worse than they felt before they started.  

They are all too often based on “shoulds.”

should get a bigger house.  I should pay off all my debts.  I shouldget a new car.  I should go after a promotion at work this year.  None of those are bad goals but they may or may not be for you.  When they about proving yourself to someone else or measuring up to a real or perceived standard that doesn’t speak to your authentic self, you won’t end up getting what you need from it.  The sad truth is that if you aren’t doing it for you, even if you achieve the goal, it will not be meaning for you at all.

Change is hard!  

(I know, DUH!)  Our brains are built on two principles; homeostasis (a relatively stable state of equilibrium or a tendency toward such a state between the different but interdependent elements or groups of elements of an organism) and survival.  When we are afraid or anxious our brains work really hard to slam on the breaks and avoid the thing that makes us feel that way.  And change requires anxiety and fear!  So basically, your brain is working against you to keep you doing exactly what you are doing and NOT change.  

You don't make a realistic plan.

For example, the goal is to lose 30 lbs in by spring break. That's not a plan! It's not even a well thought out goal. The goal has to have measurable, tangible, observable steps and definitions. 30 lbs is measurable so that's a good start and the deadline is good as well, we can find that on a calendar but how on Earth are you gunna do it? What is the contingency plan for when life doesn't go the way it is supposed to? Because it won't so your plan has to have some realistic flexibility built into.

Too much, too soon.

Earlier this week a client basically told me that she wants her entire life to be different by the end of 2020. While that could happen, it feels like a massive amount of pressure. When people try and take on their entire lives all at once instead of focusing on things in phases, they can quickly become totally overwhelmed and feel helpless then give up on all of their goals.

Don't let your New Year resolutions become so overwhelming that if feels as though you are trying to take a sip of water from a gushing fire hydrant. Change is difficult and you will be afraid but it you take on too much too quickly, it could feel as though you may drown.

You don't have to fall into these traps. You can absolutely set goals for yourself that you are certainly capable of achieving this year. Try to keep in mind that nothing important that you have ever achieved in your life was easy. It took work, planning, thought, anxiety and time. You didn't just wake up one day and it was there and felt super easy to get.

As always, I’m here.  If you are ready to work on having the life you want, call me and let’s get started!

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